Tuesday 21 November 2017

Plague Pit (a Hot Drop)

A "hot drop" for what ails you. Very
welcome when out exercising the dogs.
This is not a happy home the last few days. Both of us have been struck down by the 'lurgy'. It's just the common cold so don't go believing any bunkum you hear from me about man-flu, but it's very disabling and misery inducing. Colds are now, also nicely rare round here. When I was working in the UK my work involved moving between air-con offices and huge cold stores in a space shared by 600+ other fellow sufferers so I "always" seemed to be catching colds. It seemed like 3-4 a year and I can remember the 'weakling' shame of always being asked by our lovely neighbour (The Angel B), "have you got a cold AGAIN?"

No better lip-tingling marinade for the chicken stir fry when
the taste buds are a bit dull, than home made chilli oil.
Even then we would always generously stick the wedding vows... "all I have I share with you" .... and who ever caught the cold first would always try to share it with the other spouse.

When the jar of Hellman's "REAL" Mayonnaise runs out and
Liz is reduced to knocking up a quick bowl full of mayo from our
Free Range eggs. Hellman's is creamy white so our yellow mix
surely can't also be 'real'?
Now enjoying our outdoor lifestyle with no crowd of 600 warehousemen following me about and no air-con or cold stores, I have had a remarkable reduction in the colds per annum scores. We only ever get the one per year and sometimes, if memory serves, none at all. All the more annoying when you do pick one up, maybe.

By rigging some temporary fencing, I let the sheep get at the
grass on the walk BETWEEN their fields. They were more
interested in the ivy on the wall. 
Every cloud, they say, has a silver lining. Yes we have spent a few days dragging boxes of tissues round and dosing ourselves up on "Max Strength" Lemsip or taking ourselves off for extended naps (I took a "sickie" from Archery and Liz has, tonight, from Drama Group). But on the calendar was a note to strain the plum-vodka to separate the fruit from the booze after 3 months steeping. We kept the fruit, obviously, but the hooch proved to be delicious AND to be just too much to all fit in the posh bottle we had saved, so a small overflow ended up in a tiny tonic bottle. The cold sufferers found the idea of a 'hot drop' made with plum vodka instead of whiskey, very welcome when out exercising dogs on the breezy, drizzly front lawn. It was also a chance to break in my new(ish) thermos mug. Thank you Dan and Dan.

Not a brilliant pic but can you just see that the shell of this duck
egg is faintly ridged in a spiral pattern (in direction of the arrow).
The duck's vent must be grooved in spiral ridges like a gun barrel!
What else is new? Off on one of my missions into town, in this case for emergency supplies of (you guessed it) Lemsip and tissues, I spotted in a roadside paddock, 5 new outdoor piglets and immediately worked out that these must belong to some friends of ours, the man of which is a former pork butcher and ace maker of proper pork pies. I fired off a quick text to see if I could blag a cup of tea and an admire of the new piggies. Long story short, they are 13 week old weaners who are thriving and fast learning about electric fences. They are Gloucester Old Spots (crosses), 4 for the freezer and 1 as a keeper who will be joined by another breeding-quality gilt. The 2 ladies will be put to a Berkshire boar if our friends can find one.

The young turkey looking huge against the new chickens.
We also had a nice treat, a visit by the gardening journalist for the local paper who asked to look round the place and interview us about how we garden. Local readers may know this guy as Paul Kirwan, gardening writer for the Roscommon Herald but I must admit I only knew him as "the guy who runs the garden centre attached to the farmers' co-op in Balla-D, "Aurivo". Well, Paul came round yesterday just before it got dark and walked round the garden while we chatted and then enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake when we adjourned indoors. Lovely bloke - fascinating story. 'We' should appear in the Herald which comes out next Tuesday (28th Nov) if you're interested and we will definitely be grabbing a couple of copies for our own interest and friends and family. Assuming he says nice things about our messy weed patch, of course!

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